Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Mummy

An unearthed mummy (Boris Karloff) mysteriously vanishes from the dig site, with one of the workers claiming it got up and walked away. Years later, the mummy, now living under an assumed name, tries to use his powers to hypnotize and marry a woman who resembles his long lost love.

Another one of those classics I've been meaning to see for years but never got around to. The thing that surprised me the most about The Mummy is that we only ever see a classic "mummy" in the very beginning. You know, like a skeleton dude covered in gauze. Instead, most of the movie he's just Karloff in old man makeup, dressed in normal clothes. He's still technically "the mummy," but it feels more like "the magician" or "the hypnotist." Who knew the iconic mummy barely features into The Mummy?

As with other classic like Dracula and The Wolf Man, I enjoyed but didn't love this cultural touchstone. It's got some nice atmosphere, Karloff is great as always, and it builds to a nice ending, but most of it is good but unspectacular. I'm finding that this is the case for a lot of the revered classics from this era; my sense is that they are better remembered for being big hits than actually being great horror movies.

Rating: B-

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